Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, whose name has resurfaced since video emerged last month showing Kareem Hunt pushing and kicking a woman, spoke publicly on Tuesday, saying he is done with football and that he would be willing to speak with Hunt.
The NFL placed Hunt on the commissioner’s exempt list hours after TMZ published the video on Nov. 30, and a few hours later the Kansas City Chiefs cut the running back.
The Ravens cut Rice in 2014 after two videos surfaced, the first showing him dragging his unconscious fiancée Janay Palmer out of an elevator, and the second showing him punch Janay in the face in the elevator, knocking her out. Rice has not played in the NFL since.
Speaking with Janay, now his wife, on “CBS This Morning,” Rice, 31, talked about his life in the years since his banishment from the league. And he made it clear he is not speaking out in an effort to get back into the NFL.
“Well, see that for me, is something that I understand why it was being said early on about, you know, is this a ploy to get back into football,” Rice told CBS’ Gayle King. “I’ll be the first one to say it. I don’t have to retire to tell you I’m done with football. The pressure I was under of being a star — that was the person I hated the most.”
The couple married in March 2014, shortly after Ray Rice was charged with aggravated assault against Janay. King asked Janay Rice why she remained with Rice after the assault and why she has yet to see the video of the assault.
“I know it’s hard for people to understand,” Janay Rice said. “And I’m not here to force people to understand. It was never a thought whether I was going to leave or not, because I knew that that wasn’t him in that moment. This is somebody I’ve known since I was 15 years old. I knew that we had work to do, and I was willing to move forward and put in the work.”
When asked if he deserves a second chance of football, Ray Rice bluntly replied, “No. I didn’t deserve another chance.” Instead, he said, he got his second chance with his wife.
According to the CBS report, the NFL confirmed that Ray Rice works with the league on its domestic violence education program. Among other topics Ray Rice covered:
On his life before the assault on Janay and the subsequent fallout:
“One of the underlying issues for me was — I never wanted to ask for help. Football, for me, was my counseling. It was my therapy. It was my psychologist. It was everything.”
On the NFL’s efforts to address domestic abuse, including the current cases of Hunt and Reuben Foster:
“They’re trying to do the right thing ... I know they are working with groups to try to get more of an understanding. And they’re doing the work. ... I know the NFL ... they’re not trying to push — they’re not trying to push people who do bad things or abuse against women. They’re not trying to push those guys on the field.”
On whether he would be willing to speak to Hunt:
“I would love to help anyone that’s willing to go the long haul.”
—Field Level Media